For several weeks I have had lofty goals of writing for the blog. Admittedly, I allowed myself to get distracted and pulled in to doing other tasks, both the unpaid labor of house-and-yard work and the paid things of content writing, editing, proofing, etc., for other people. Sprinkle in a bit of the exhaustion that comes from my always forgetting just how busy the summer months are, and I had all the right conditions of a perfect storm of imperfection.
Being a rather fun enigma of seize-the-day, devil-may-care, gadabout mixed with a heavy-handed dose of Type-A who is burdened by guilt for everything which is, and is not, my responsibility, and this-is-the-way-I-do-it-because-it-works… I’m content calling myself “frustratingly weird”. I am perfectly content letting the River of Life float me along until I find myself up Shit Creek, often on the verge of losing my paddle. When that happens, I revert back to rigid, single-minded perfectionism.
What happens when the situation doesn’t allow me to stick to that happy, little rut of perfectionism that I think I need to stick to? Frustration, the throwing up of hands in the air, and a big, fat, “Fuck It!”
Such is the rut that I found myself in with this blog. I have tried to stick to publishing posts, when I have them, at 5 AM on Friday mornings. That’s great for someone who can reliably write their posts on a schedule because their life is on a schedule. Mine, decidedly, is lacking in a schedule other than a rough-at-the-edges one.
Because of this lack of a schedule, and the fact that my ideas for posts typically come when I’m in the middle of doing something else that I can’t drop to write down notes, I lose those ideas. Later, when I find myself with time to sit down and tap away at the keyboard – I can’t get my memory to dig up those thoughts that I believed worthy of committing to great, wide Internet.
This morning, however, I thought about a meme I had shared on social media the other week, and to those who could relate, it was a hoot. The meme in question?
You see, this came to mind because Mr. Muse and I have been dog sitting this week for a friend and the household has been thrown into floppy-eared, pouncing-puppy chaos. (As I write this, said pupper is happily gnawing at a heavy-duty rawhide meant for significant chewers. It’s lasted nearly 48 hours; I’d say it was a good selection.) The cats are not happy, the chickens know not the danger of a semi-trained bird dog in their midst, and the goats literally have been trying to butt heads with the pup through the fence. Meanwhile, the laminate flooring in the dining room has never had that much slobber on it before and is going to need to a thorough scrubbing.
And, that chaos is why I found myself thinking about that meme and the heart-pounding, cold-sweating anxiety it produced. I remember shaking in anxious anticipation of not getting all the shapes where they needed to be before the timer went off and everything literally blew up in my face. As a teen, when I competed in horticulture contests, I would sit at the table in the conference center, just-this-side of convulsing in apprehension that I wouldn’t place in my category. That, I wouldn’t be perfect enough, let alone, simply “perfect”. Honestly, I’m surprised I didn’t throw up from nerves or that the heart condition I was finally diagnosed with this year hadn’t given me a heart attack.
The pandemonium of the puppy and thinking about that meme collided into a rattle-me-to-my-core epiphany and I thought:
Thankfully, most of us are allowed to get older and wiser, and we can learn new and better ways of living our lives and doing things. We can learn that “perfection” as we’ve been taught, is a damned lie. We can unlearn things, too.
“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” ― Ecclesiastes 11:4
So, here I sit, attempting to type and knowing full-well that I’m NOT going to post this at 5 AM Central Time on a Friday but whenever it’s finished, with a puppy repeatedly bringing me a slobbery squirrel toy to throw for him, while I sit on a couch that now has dog slobber on it and a coffee cup that has a little drip of coffee down the side.
And, it’s okay.
I also know that I’m going to need to keep telling myself, over-and-over, every day, maybe all day, that perfection is a lie, that just getting the writing done is good. I must unlearn what I have learned.
Do you get stuck in an ideal of “perfection”? Did you?
How did you get unstuck?
The Amusing Muse is a happy Auntie to children and dogs alike. Her summer break is nearly over and the fall semester looms, but she’s got her textbooks! She has been pondering her ways of thinking and acting for several years now, as it likely similar for many folks as they get older, and has been trying to unlearn those things which do not serve her.
Blog title clip art courtesy of DaGD